Child relocation is when the parent a child lives with wishes to move that child out of the state of Minnesota. There are several reasons a parent might seek to relocate a child, including a new relationship or a new career. However, a parent may not do so without complying with certain legal standards.
Under Minnesota law, if the non-relocating parent has parenting time, or visitation, with the child, the child may not be moved out of state without the agreement of the non-relocating parent or a court order. If the non-relocating parent does not have parenting time with the child, no permission or court order is needed to move the child out of state. Mothers of children born outside of marriage where no custody or parenting time order is issued, do not need the father’s permission or a court order to move out of state.
Permission for Child Relocation in Minnesota
When the other parent has parenting time, the relocating parent must either get the permission of the non-relocating parent or a court order allowing them to move from Minnesota with the child. The relocating parent should notify the non-relocating parent in writing as soon as possible about the proposed move. The notification should include information about where the relocating parent plans to move to with the child along with the reasons for the move.
If both of the parents can reach an agreement as to the move, the agreement should be written down and filed with the court. If the non-relocating parent objects to the move, they must file that objection with the court.
Once an objection is filed by the non-relocating party, it is up to the judge to decide if the move is in the best interests of the child or if it would endanger the child’s emotional or physical health.
Evidentiary Hearing for Child Relocation in Minnesota
After an objection is filed by the non-relocating party, the court may schedule an evidentiary hearing, which is like a trial. An evidentiary hearing is not required, meaning that a court could allow or deny a move only based on what a parent files with the court. Either at the hearing or in the paperwork filed with the court, the moving parent must prove that the proposed move is in the best interests of the child. There is an exception for cases where there was a history of domestic violence by the non-relocating parent. In these cases, the non-relocating parent must prove that the move is not in the child’s best interests.
After hearing testimony and reviewing any evidence, the judge will reach a decision about whether to allow the proposed child relocation. The judge will take all of the following factors into account when reaching their decision:
- The nature, quality, the extent of involvement, and length of the child’s relationship with each parent and any siblings, family members, or other important people in the child’s life;
- The child’s age, needs, and developmental stage, and the likely impact of relocation on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into account the child’s particular needs;
- Whether it’s feasible, considering the logistics of the move and each parent’s financial circumstances, to preserve the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent by altering the existing custody and visitation schedule;
- The child’s preference, if the child is old enough to express a mature opinion;
- Whether the relocating parent has a past history of encouraging or, by contrast, trying to thwart the child’s relationship with the other parent;
- Whether the move will enhance the general quality of life for both the relocating parent and the child;
- Why the parents are seeking or opposing the move;
- If there’s a history of domestic violence, the move’s effect on the safety and welfare of the child or the relocating parent;
- Any other factor bearing on the child’s best interests.
If the evidence shows the move is in the best interests of the child, the judge will issue an order allowing the move and will adjust the custody and visitation schedule accordingly. If the move is not in the best interests of the child, the judge will deny the relocation request.
Contact Experienced Child Relocation Attorneys in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Today
Relocation of a child – outside of Minnesota requires thinking ahead. It is best to reach an agreement with your child’s co-parent regarding a new custody and parenting plan to allow a smoother transition to a new state. As this is not always an option, it is prudent to contact an attorney experienced in child relocation months in advance of your move.
If you move without the permission of the court, you risk sanctions including, but not limited to, makeup visitation for your co-parent. The professionals at Perusse Family Law PLLC can help you put a relocation plan in place in advance and be prepared in the event of any necessary court hearings. Call Perusse Family Law PLLC today for a consultation.